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The Clyde Mystery a Study in Forgeries and Folklore   By: (1844-1912)

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Andrew Lang's "The Clyde Mystery: A Study in Forgeries and Folklore" is a compelling exploration of the mysterious events surrounding the Clyde River region. Through meticulous research and a keen eye for detail, Lang takes readers on a gripping journey into the heart of Scotland's folklore and the world of art forgery.

One of the book's strongest aspects is Lang's ability to bring historical figures and events to life. He seamlessly weaves together tales of notorious forgers and local legends, giving readers a vivid sense of the era's atmosphere. From the Scottish landscape to the smoky underworld of counterfeit art, Lang's descriptions transport readers to a different time and place.

Lang's writing is both engaging and informative. He presents a wealth of historical and cultural knowledge, providing readers with valuable insights into the roots of folklore and the motivations behind forgeries. However, he never overwhelms readers with academic jargon, making the book accessible to both casual enthusiasts and seasoned researchers alike.

"The Clyde Mystery" is not just a collection of fascinating stories; it also serves as a cautionary tale about the power of myth and the need for critical thinking. Lang effectively explores how folklore can shape people's perception of reality, leading to the creation and perpetuation of fraudulent artifacts. By highlighting a series of real-life incidents, he sparks important discussions about truth, authenticity, and the human desire for a connection to the past.

Additionally, Lang's investigation of the Clyde region is impressive in its depth and breadth. He leaves no stone unturned, diligently uncovering every hidden clue and examining various theories. While some parts of the book may drag on for readers less interested in minutiae, those seeking a comprehensive look into the subject matter will appreciate the thoroughness of Lang's research.

If there is one flaw to be found, it lies in the book's organization. At times, the narrative jumps back and forth between different periods and incidents, making it a bit challenging to follow the flow of the story. Nevertheless, this minor quibble does not detract significantly from the overall quality of Lang's work.

"The Clyde Mystery: A Study in Forgeries and Folklore" by Andrew Lang is a captivating ride through the realms of art and legend. Lang's masterful storytelling and dedication to historical accuracy make this book a must-read for history buffs, folklore enthusiasts, and anyone intrigued by the intriguing intersection of truth and myth.

First Page:

The Clyde Mystery A Study in Forgeries and Folklore

By Andrew Lang, M.A. Oxford Hon. Fellow of Merton College, LL.D. St. Andrews D.Litt. Oxford, D.C.L. Durham

Glasgow James MacLehose and Sons Publishers to the University 1905



The author would scarcely have penned this little specimen of what Scott called "antiquarian old womanries," but for the interest which he takes in the universally diffused archaic patterns on rocks and stones, which offer a singular proof of the identity of the working of the human mind. Anthropology and folklore are the natural companions and aids of prehistoric and proto historic archaeology, and suggest remarks which may not be valueless, whatever view we may take of the disputed objects from the Clyde sites.

While only an open verdict on these objects is at present within the competence of science, the author, speaking for himself, must record his private opinion that, as a rule, they are ancient though anomalous. He cannot pretend to certainty as to whether the upper parts of the marine structures were throughout built of stone, as in Dr. Munro's theory, which is used as the fundamental assumption in this book; or whether they were of wood, as in the hypothesis of Mr... Continue reading book >>

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